Carson: Running HUD is more complex than brain surgery

Carson: Running HUD is more complex than brain surgery
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Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonHouse Oversight chairman requests details on Zinke's 9K door Candy Carson pushes back after K dining set criticism White House aides planned to announce McMaster with other departures: report MORE said late last week that running the agency is more complex than brain surgery.

“There are more complexities here than in brain surgery,” Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon, told The New York Times. “Doing this job is going to be a very intricate process.”

Carson, who worked for decades as a surgeon before entering politics with a 2016 presidential bid, spoke with the newspaper in the wake of multiple ethical complaints levied against his department.

The department came under scrutiny after it was reported HUD ordered a $31,000 dining room set, crossing a $5,000 limit on such purchases. Carson said later he had canceled the order.

The department’s inspector general said late last month it had opened a review into Carson’s family’s involvement at the agency. 

The inspector general took interest after reports that officials were concerned Carson’s son, Ben Carson Jr., invited potential business associates to a HUD “listening tour” event last summer in Baltimore.

Carson downplayed the problems to The New York Times, saying his agency is “ethically pure.”

“I don’t have any problem with ethics,” Carson said. “Here is a rather unique situation, Ben is somebody who is integrally important to me, and wants to help. I’m not going to just say no because it looks this way or that way.”

Carson has previously brushed off criticisms that he is unqualified for a political job. In October, he compared his role to CEOs of large medical centers who likely don't know everything about infectious diseases and medicine.

Carson was confirmed as HUD secretary last year by a vote of 58-41.